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  1. #1
    CX Wannabe jarelj's Avatar
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    Convert Trek FX Hybrid to Drop Bars

    The discussion was initially started here:
    Trek FX 7.5 thru 7.9 owners - How do you like your bikes?

    based upon this bike conversion:
    http://images.velodramatic.com/singl...ild/index.html

    Figured it would be best to split into a new thread rather than muddy up the other one further. So here's the idea, take a Trek FX and convert it to drop bars to be more road-bike-like. Some comments have been made about the geometry being all wrong, and weight distrubution, relation to the bottom bracket, etc. So I took two brand new Trek bikes, one a 7.6fx, and one a X1 Cyclocross bike with drop bars, and layed them atop each other for a comparison of the geometry.



    So I don't know anything about bicycle geometry, but I know alot about motorcycle geometry, and I don't see anything in this comparison that leads me to believe that converting the fx to drop bars will be drastically different from the X1 Cyclocross bike that already comes with drop bars. Please enlighten me on what might be problematic with this concept as far as geometry goes, I don't know the impact of the more compact top bracket vs. the more horizontal top bracket on the CX bike for example.

    As far as what's required to do it (without the single-speed conversion from the velodramatic bike linked to above), here's what I've come up with so far:

    1) Shorter stem
    2) Drop bar handlebar
    3) Brifters (brake/shifters from a road bike)
    4) Cantilever brake arms/pads
    5) Bar tape

    What else would be needed?
    Jarel
    2009 Voodoo Limba CX

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    thank you for this thread. this is exactly what i have in mind with my current fuji but i am a newbie.maybe this suits the mechanics forum even more which is the busiest forum. either way i will be following this thread carefully.

    edit: we should have a word with this fella who added drops to the 7.5 fx
    Last edited by common man; 08-26-09 at 07:15 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member sh00k's Avatar
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    hahahaha - looks like my link really got to you, jarel!

    based on your pic, the geometry looks CLOSE - definitely not the same but close. not a bad conversion to try if you're really craving drop bars.
    2009 Trek FX 7.2 (Blue) -- SOLD!
    2010 Trek FX 7.7 (White) -- SOLD!
    2011 Trek FX 7.3 (White) -- Haven't sold it yet! haha

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    Why on earth would you do this? Why not sell your hybrid and get a road bike? Without starting an argument about what defines a hybrid, I'd only say that once you start adding drops and brifters, you might as well get a road bike. Drops and brifters on a hybrid seem to me like a totally sub-optimized road bike for the price of a good entry level road bike.

  5. #5
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    I think you can put drop bars on any bike. That whole geometry, weight distribution blah blah blah is nonsense. Take Kona's Dew series of hybrids as an example, they have released a drop bar version. The rest of the bike is Dew. The trek bike would no different. I'm sure members that on this forum that run drops on their hybrids should be along here soon.

    The cost is what I'd be concerned with. Brifters don't come cheap.

    I also think that drop bars in all of it's flavors are the best handle bar design period. Here's a picture of a mountain/road drop bar on a mountain bike.

    Last edited by Saddle Up; 08-26-09 at 08:17 PM.
    It's none of my business what other people think of me.

  6. #6
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    Here's my drop bar conversion on a Trek hybrid. Main reason for conversion, hand positions. Total cost of conversion was ~$100. Went with the Tektro RL520 brake levers, and changed it to bar end friction shifters. Been riding like this for a while now, only complaint i have is that I need a shorter stem.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Timber_8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyA View Post
    Why on earth would you do this? Why not sell your hybrid and get a road bike? Without starting an argument about what defines a hybrid, I'd only say that once you start adding drops and brifters, you might as well get a road bike. Drops and brifters on a hybrid seem to me like a totally sub-optimized road bike for the price of a good entry level road bike.
    There is a lot more to a Hybrid than the Flat Bars, I can completely understand the conversion. Try putting racks and fender on a road bike without mickey mousing the installation
    Hybrid) Trek FX 7.2
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  8. #8
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I love drop bars...

    Drop bars can be very versatile...

    On road...



    Off road...

    Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 08-27-09 at 02:44 AM.

  9. #9
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by common man View Post
    thank you for this thread. this is exactly what i have in mind with my current fuji but i am a newbie.maybe this suits the mechanics forum even more which is the busiest forum. either way i will be following this thread carefully.

    edit: we should have a word with this fella who added drops to the 7.5 fx


    My Trek is actually a 1999 Trek 7500... I figure I might be responsible for quite a few drop bar conversions on Trek hybrids.

    I used Suntour Barcon shifters and have since changed out the Avid Shorty canti brakes (can you say squeeeaaaal?) for much much better Shimano XTR cantis.

    I chose the Suntour friction shifters for their robust build and serviceability and they are mated to an 8 speed drive.

  10. #10
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyA View Post
    Why on earth would you do this? Why not sell your hybrid and get a road bike? Without starting an argument about what defines a hybrid, I'd only say that once you start adding drops and brifters, you might as well get a road bike. Drops and brifters on a hybrid seem to me like a totally sub-optimized road bike for the price of a good entry level road bike.
    Because for some, drop bars are just the most comfortable bars there are and not just for full on road bikes.

    Getting more aero and expanding one's hand positions can be beneficial on many types of bikes.

    My 1988 Kuwahara Shasta... I have great positioning on the hoods and besides being able to get more aero in the drops the position also eases the compression and pain issues in my back like nothing else.

    And this bike will go places road bikes fear to tread.


  11. #11
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    What is it again about that white Trek that makes it a hybrid rather than a touring bike? I don't
    want to get banned again, but I still don't get it.

    When I purchased my first mountain bike, a Ross Mt. Hood, I had drop bars put on it. Later, I
    bought a touring bike, a Bridgestone RB-T, and I replaced the drop bars with flat bars. Depending
    on intended use and rider preference, swapping from flats to drops or from drops to flats can be a
    reasonable modification.

    As mentioned above with the example of the Kona bike, many companies are marketing hybrids and
    touring bikes featuring the same frame. My Cannondale H300 was also sold with drop bars as a T300.
    With so many nice hybrids on the market now, it is unlikely anyone would need to buy a tourer and
    convert it to a flat bar bike as I did with the Bridgestone, but that was not the case then. The reverse
    is true as well.

    Touring bikes were hard to come by back then. I think the popularity of hybrids has led to more
    touring bikes being available now. Because the frames are already in production to meet the demand
    for fast hybrids, it doesn't cost much to add touring bikes to the product line.

    So maybe you would have been better off buying a touring bike, but you have a hybrid. If you prefer
    drop bars, you can convert your current bike or sell it and get a touring bike.
    Last edited by qmsdc15; 08-27-09 at 05:16 AM.

  12. #12
    Zensunni Wanderer KShep's Avatar
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    ...subscribing.
    2010 Carl Strong custom Ti road bike
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  13. #13
    CX Wannabe jarelj's Avatar
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    Thanks for getting the thread rolling guys! Now if we could get back to the "HOW" focus of the conversion, rather than the "WHY". So we get a new stem, some drop bars, brifters, bar tape and cantilever brake arms, then what?

    Stem - How to pick the exact size?

    Drop Bars - Benefits to compact vs. full-size, seems pretty obvious but anything I'm missing?

    Brifters - With stock 9-speed drivetrain, looks like I have to use the Shimano 9-speed brifters, will any others work as well? Seems Campagnono makes really nice brifters, but won't work with the Shimano deraileurs?

    Bar tape - never used it before, anything to know there? Similar to putting grip on a tennis racquet, which I've done many times?

    Cantilever brakes - What else needed for the conversion besizes the brake arms? From the "project" bike listed above, there were brake "hangers" used. Buy those? Make them?
    Last edited by jarelj; 08-27-09 at 05:51 AM.
    Jarel
    2009 Voodoo Limba CX

  14. #14
    Zensunni Wanderer KShep's Avatar
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    Is a shorter stem a requirement for this modifcation?

    btw nice work on the lay-over photos.
    2010 Carl Strong custom Ti road bike
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  15. #15
    Senior Member sh00k's Avatar
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    ^ i think it depends on the stem length. if you add drop bars and the bars seem like you are stretching too much for them, you'll need a shorter stem. i think this all depends on the stem that came on the bike... this varies a lot. some may have the perfect stem, some longer, some shorter ,etc.
    2009 Trek FX 7.2 (Blue) -- SOLD!
    2010 Trek FX 7.7 (White) -- SOLD!
    2011 Trek FX 7.3 (White) -- Haven't sold it yet! haha

  16. #16
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
    What is it again about that white Trek that makes it a hybrid rather than a touring bike ?
    Mine is just an older and pre FX model Trek 7500 Multitrack (hybrid) with drop bars and an eclectic mix of parts (mostly mtb) that seems to get no respect... I should name it Rodney.



    Almost all bikes are hybrids to some degree... whether you define that by components, by what they do, or by what marketers tell us what a hybrid is and isn't.

  17. #17
    CX Wannabe jarelj's Avatar
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    I tried to figure this out on my own, ordered up some parts so we'll see how it goes. I'll post back with pictures on how things turn out.
    Jarel
    2009 Voodoo Limba CX

  18. #18
    CX Wannabe jarelj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KShep View Post
    Is a shorter stem a requirement for this modifcation?

    btw nice work on the lay-over photos.
    I don't think a short stem is required for any other purpose other than if you feel you need less of a reach to the bars for comfort. I got a 90mm stem for my conversion, figured that would be a good place to start and I'll see how it feels. If necessary, I'll swap it out for a different length. It also has less rise than the stock stem, so it will be a little lower and closer to me, which I think is what i'm looking for. Might be all wrong, but there's only one way to find out! I figure if it doesn't work I'll have a brand new compact drop bar with pre-installed Shimano STI brifters on it to sell to someone building a road bike, so I won't really be out much.
    Jarel
    2009 Voodoo Limba CX

  19. #19
    Senior Member sh00k's Avatar
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    best of luck jarel. you mind posting links to the parts you ordered? i just want to see what route you're goin.

    thanks in advance.
    2009 Trek FX 7.2 (Blue) -- SOLD!
    2010 Trek FX 7.7 (White) -- SOLD!
    2011 Trek FX 7.3 (White) -- Haven't sold it yet! haha

  20. #20
    Zensunni Wanderer KShep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jarelj View Post
    I don't think a short stem is required for any other purpose other than if you feel you need less of a reach to the bars for comfort.
    While on the bike this morning I tried to imagine where drop bars would 'fit' best. To me it seemed they would need to be the same height but farther away or I would feel cramped. :dunno smilley here:

    I'm very interested to see how your project shakes out.

    Good luck & thanks for keeping us posted.
    2010 Carl Strong custom Ti road bike
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  21. #21
    CX Wannabe jarelj's Avatar
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    Oval Concepts 90mm stem
    FSA Omega compact drop bar
    Shimano R550 Canti brakes
    Shimano ST4500 STI Brake/Shifters
    Misc. hangers/cables

    Total parts about $450, I controlled myself and didn't order all of the carbon fiber stuff! ha ha!
    Jarel
    2009 Voodoo Limba CX

  22. #22
    Senior Member sh00k's Avatar
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    ^ LOL, good man. save that $ for a sick set of wheels. and you'll be flying down the streets.
    2009 Trek FX 7.2 (Blue) -- SOLD!
    2010 Trek FX 7.7 (White) -- SOLD!
    2011 Trek FX 7.3 (White) -- Haven't sold it yet! haha

  23. #23
    CX Wannabe jarelj's Avatar
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    Yeah, I still want some new wheels too, every time I hit a big pothole or expansion joint in the pavement I envision one of the high-tension spokes going "BOING!!!" and then I'm stuck.
    Jarel
    2009 Voodoo Limba CX

  24. #24
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    Get a Nitto Noodle bar. If you're not racing and don't spend most of your time on drops, its the bar to get for any bike. A racing bar is just not suitable for most riders.

  25. #25
    CX Wannabe jarelj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
    Get a Nitto Noodle bar. If you're not racing and don't spend most of your time on drops, its the bar to get for any bike. A racing bar is just not suitable for most riders.
    Are there different versions of that noodle bar? I looked it up and it appears to be 26mm clamp, 96mm reach, with a 140mm drop, in a few different widths. The bar clamp on the hybrid is 31.8mm, and the bars I got are only 80mm reach and only 125mm drop. Is there something else that's better about the noodle bar?
    Jarel
    2009 Voodoo Limba CX

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